Parkroyal On Beach Road's iconic dance hall is reimagined as a stylish cocktail bar that blends Old World charm and creative mixology

While there’s no shortage of world class bars in Singapore to choose from, it’s inspiring to see new concepts that celebrate the city’s unique history, spirit and flavours. And that is exactly what imbibers can look forward to at the revamped Club 5 at Parkroyal On Beach Road. A beacon for the thriving social dancing circuit in the '80s and '90s the last 35 years, the familiar space has been reimagined as a swanky cocktail bar almost straight out of the roaring 20s.

Expertly conceived by award-winning Singapore-based designer Emma Maxwell, the interior flaunts a clever mix of art décor influences and an understated glamour, complete with brushed brass finished glass doors adorned with semi-circular patterns that are repeated throughout the bar and crowned by a striking feature of oval tungsten lamps that hug the ceiling.

Enthuses Wee Wei Ling, executive director (asset, lifestyle and community partnerships) of Pan Pacific Hotels Group, “The new Club 5 strikes a delicate balance between nostalgia and modernity, making it a truly unique world-class bar. Rarely will you find a gem that still shines bright in spite of transient trends and economic uncertainties.”

Yes, it’s even kept a small dance floor for those who feel the urge to tango or hustle between drinks—but only when new safe distancing guidelines permit, of course.

Regardless, it is the bar’s equally clever cocktail programme that old and new fans will be returning for. A languid crawl through its curated menu of cosmopolitan creations celebrates aspects of the area’s storied history, from Beach Road to Arab Street and the once raucous Bugis Street.

“The cocktail menu acts as a guide to bring guests on an adventure through Kampong Glam with relatable and memory-triggering flavours,” head bartender Ong Jun Han says. The clever use of spices, for example, is a nod to the spice halls that once lined the streets, while details like a sequined coaster is a throwback of sorts to the Bugis Street’s disco days (when it was also affectionately referred to as Booggie Street).

A fine choice to start with is the Jackson Plan Punch (named after Lieutenant Philip Jackson who was instrumental in drawing up the Raffles Town Plan envisioned by Sir Stamford Raffles). The floral, fruity and spicy gin-based swizzle is made with London dry gin and overproof Australian gin, combined with elderflower liqueur, pomegranate syrup, lime and grapefruit juices.

If you prefer something with a bit of a kick, the Nasi Lema’rgarita features house-made coconut tequila shaken with a spicy pandan syrup (because its infused inhouse with chilli padi), lime juice, dry curaçao and cucumber, and served with peanuts and anchovies.

As imaginative as they are, these cocktails are just as much the elegant and well-balanced concoctions one would expect at a top-notch bar. “I love experimenting and incorporating local flavours as it adds a touch of home and gives deep meaning to each drink,” Jun Han shares, noting as well how the perfect cocktail is not only about a good mix of spirits but also “a journey filled with curiosity behind the story of what makes each drink one of a kind”.

Suffice it to say, there are plenty of local bar bites—from chicken kuih pie tee with buah keluak dressing, to deep-fried soft shell crab with Singapore chilli crab sauce, and wagyu satay—to accompany imbibers on their journey.


Club 5 at Parkroyal Beach Road | 7500 Beach Road | 6505 5666

 

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